The abdominal muscles are one of the muscle groups that are most focussed upon in the fitness industry. Almost everyone wants to improve their body by getting that 'washboard stomach' or 'six pack abs'. A defined stomach can really improve the appearance of a person's body because it is a central, focal point. There are two main ways to tone your abdominal muscles. First, you can do abdominal exercises such as crunches and situps. Secondly, you can use machines such as the balance ball or rowing machines. To begin I will look at abdominal exercises to tone your stomach. Obviously, there are the standard situps and crunches. However, there are a lot of other exercises out there too. Below I have outlined a couple of abdominal exercises you may not have considered previously: - The Bicycle is a great abdominal exercise. To begin you lay down flat on your back. You then place your hands behind your head with your fingers laced together, bring your knees to your chest and rotate them at close to 45 degrees (like you are peddling a bicycle). As you do this touch your right elbow to your left knee and vice versa. - Another great exercise is Hindu Pushups. You begin on your hands and knees with your legs spread wide and your rear end pushed up. Next you bend your elbows (like you are doing a pushup) and bring your back down in an arc. Then straighten your arms so your back arches upwards with your hips just above the ground. Both of these exercises should add some variety to your usual adominal exercise routine. However, if you are still looking to spice up your adominal workout you could try implementing some machines. Below are a few suggestions for you if you want to start using machines: - The Balance Ball highly versatile and improves your core stability. Not only does it exercise your abdominal muscles but it also works the rest of your body. To stay balanced on the ball your abdominal muscles need to remain tight, a task which is often a lot more difficult than people think. - The Rowing Machine primarily works your shoulders, forearms, biceps, triceps and legs. However, due to the position you have to maintain whilst seated on the machine it also gives your abs a great workout and helps tone and strengthen them. - The Red Exerciser is a relatively new piece of equipment which keeps the upper body still, allowing you to oscillate the lower body using your abdominal muscles. If you use the Red Exerciser regularly you will begin to notice great results. However you decide to exercise your abdominal muscles I hope that this article has proved useful to you. Variety in your abdominal workouts is a good idea because it prevents you from getting bored with your routine. Also, doing different exercises will keep working your abdominal muscles in different ways and help give them more tone and definition. Remember to also try and eat healthily, incorporating lots of fruit and vegetables into your diet. Also try to consume plenty of water. Finally, make sure that you perform regular cardiovascular exercise. Doing this will reduce your body fat, allowing your stomach muscles to stand out more. Keep it up and you will have the abs you've always dreamed of in no time at all.